Six students from Lakeside will attend the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) this week, which is part of the National Association of Independent Schools’ People of Color Conference. Lakeside students are among the 1,600 high school student leaders from across the U.S. who will come together to self-reflect, form allies, and build community.
Led by a diverse team of trained adult and peer facilitators from around the country, SDLC participants will develop effective cross-cultural communication skills, better understand the nature and development of effective strategies for social justice, practice expression through the arts, and learn networking principles and strategies. In addition to large group sessions, SDLC "family groups" and "home groups" allow for dialogue and sharing in smaller units.
Debbie Bensadon, Upper School languages teacher and student equity programs coordinator, has seen the positive impact of the conference on Lakeside students. “It’s been my experience that students who attend SDLC often come back inspired and empowered,” she said. “In previous years, students brought back enhanced knowledge and skills that helped them become leaders in our peer facilitation program, our affinity and alliance groups, and other workshops and programs that have had an impact on the larger community.”
Seven faculty and staff from Lakeside will attend the NAIS People of Color Conference, which occurs simultaneously. The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. Two Lakesiders are presenting at the conference: Middle School Educational Technology Support Specialist Dave Miller will co-present about working in technology in independent schools and Upper School English teacher Fakhereddine Berrada is part of a panel exploring what it means to be an independent school educator who identities as Middle Eastern or North African.